Science & Math

Too early to tell

A modern consensus has all but consigned free will to the graveyard of outmoded ideas. But one philosopher isn’t so sure.

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More cows, moving faster

Desertification is a serious and rapidly-growing problem across wide swathes of the world, and cattle grazing plays a role in it. But if the environmental and economic success that Johann Zietsman has been having with his herds is anything to go by, the answer may not be fewer cattle but more.

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Night lights

Paul Bogard’s scientific, literary, and philosophical account of why the end of night — driven by unremitting and ever-increasing light pollution around the world — should worry us all.

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Only one universe to observe

Theoretical cosmologist Roberto Trotta talks to SCOPE about the anthropic principle, slow data, and his science’s happy similarity to art

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Abstracting the particular

A graphic designer by trade, Delhi-based Sanjay Nanda is also a photographer of uncommon artistic vision. Fascinated by the interplay of colour, texture, and light, much of Nanda’s work focuses on the composition of abstract images found hiding in the

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After Fukushima, India takes stock

225 million years ago the Indian subcontinent was an island off Australia; the inexorable movement of tectonic plates since that time has smashed it (slowly) into Asia, the crumpling from which collision created the 2900-kilometer Himalayan mountain range. Tectonics has

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More important than a better shell

Alaskan journalist (and contributor to SCOPE‘s inaugural issue) Charles Wohlforth’s most recent book, The Fate of Nature, is now out in paperback. An extended and deeply thoughtful reflection on human nature and on our collective ability to solve our global

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Crucial overflow

On June 13 of last year, Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa (“peregrine falcon”) successfully completed its seven-year mission by returning to Earth samples from asteroid 25143 Itokawa. In a recent interview with monthly Japanese literary magazine Chūōkōron (translated by Japan Echo), mission

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A big lung for a big city

Future-minded magazine of architecture and design eVolo has been holding its Skyscraper Competition since 2006, seeking revolutionary new ideas in the exploitation of technology, materials, aesthetics, and spatial organization to redefine what a skyscraper is and does. For 2011 a

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Light and power

A quick glance at the all-window exteriors of modern office buildings seems to offer little hope for the application of solar power cells anywhere but on rooftops, which comprise but a small proportion of a given tower’s total surface area.

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I can see why you can’t hear me now

A team from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design has developed an intriguing approach to measuring and understanding the effectiveness of a WiFi network: a 4-metre rod with 80 lights along its length shows the signal strength at any

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Prudence (not peace) of mind

Less-competitive individuals may find solace in the idea that happiness, rather than say, professional success, is the key to a long, healthy life. Happiness means lower stress, which in turns means lower blood pressure, fewer ‘risky behaviours’, and more functional

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